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Coleman County; 1943

Frank Reeves. University of Texas at Arlington Digital Achieves

Mother Nature can be very impressive from time to time. This little test is screaming wet gas. I wish you could hear it.

I believe I might have thrown another couple of half hitches on that chain, had it been me. I've seen this exact sort of thing before turn loose before and kill a man, instantly.

When this photo was taken America was already at war in the Pacific theatre and about to enter the European theatre. Older Americans with knowledge of oil and gas and not able to enter the military were charged with finding as much oil in America as they could, as fast as they could find it. The industry was needed then, it was revered for it's contribution to the war effort. While oilfields in Romania and elsewhere in Europe were being bombed, American oil men were grinding away all over our country trying to keep the war effort fueled. Nobody in America hated oil then.


Coleman County is not real oily but there are some nice little fields up there, small, shallow structures in the subsurface often tend to mirror surface highs on a USGS map. I played with this once and actually drilled a well up there on a surface high, made a well, too. It was exciting, just didn't last very long. A geological success but a pipeline failure, as we like to say.

Oil and a good bit of gas was first discovered in 1925 in Coleman County, all found by drilling on little hills and elongated ridges. There are some fields in Coleman and Brown Counties in Central Texas under water flood.

In another decade there will be a resurgence in wildcatting in places like Coleman County, in re-entering old, shallow depleted fields across Kansas, and the Illinois Basin...where costs are very low and there is little risk to achieve significant financial gain. America will always need oil and the better quality it is, the closer to market hubs and/or refineries it is, the better. THIS marginal stuff will be America's oil and gas future once again. We may only need to 3-4MM BOPD of oil, instead of 10-12, but it will all come from marginal, affordable wells and from small, hard working operators with grit.


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